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    Organizing Your Emotions For The New Year (So You Can Write More!)

    I may look like a 49-year-old mother of five, but sometimes I feel like a four-year-old with out of whack emotions.  I whine, I cry, I forget to care for myself. I grumble at the thought of doing things for my family. I put off things like washing the dishes because I call  Pinterest “fostering creativity”. I cut corners because I think the task doesn’t matter. I would like to think that I am a hot engine of productivity but I the truth is I let my emotions dominate. I allow my whims to go uncontrolled and I call it “passion” or “fun”. Somehow I think that my life will…

  • Craft,  Creativity,  Observation,  Uncategorized

    Become A Seasonal Anthropologist: Holiday Writing Research

    By Christine Hennebury Holidays are full of opportunities for us to play anthropologist and observe the culture we are participating in. We can choose to pay attention to the emotional, social, and sensory details of the season. That way we can bring vivid detail to our future writing. I’m not suggesting that you spend your holiday season detached from the people around you. (unless you need to- see below*) However, if you take a few moments every now and then to take in the details of your surroundings, you can slow things down a little while gathering details for your work. Bonus: Those few minutes spent observing can help you…

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    Top 10 Things To Do When You’ve Written A Hot Mess

    By Katharine Grubb, 10 Minute Novelist What is this fresh mess that you wrote last month? You now have 50,000+ words of the most hare-brained, rabbit-traily, blathering nonsense the literary world has ever seen. You may have loved it on November 30, but now it’s really a mess. You’re kind of proud of it, but at the same time, you could be kind of repulsed by it. This isn’t exactly what you were hoping for when you signed up for Nanowrimo in October. You want to do something with it, but what? 1. Take a deep breath. Deep breathing can calm you down. They don’t tell you this in writing…

  • Marketing,  Uncategorized

    The Value of a Good Book

    During a recent conversation, a few author friends were grumbling about how hard it is to sell books. Readers ask us all the time to put our books on sale or to give them away for free. And there are people who simply can’t afford a full price book, but the majority of people can. They just choose to spend that money on other things. Changing the attitude on books and their value How do we get readers to value books? Well first we have to acknowledge that books take time and effort to create. Most authors spend at least 4-5 months, more often a year or more, writing a…

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    Holiday Writing: Plan for Success

    by Christine Hennebury (Note: While there are many, many holidays being celebrated world-wide at this time of year, I realize that some of us aren’t celebrating, it’s just the end of another year. However, no matter what is going on, December seems like a hectic month for most people. This post mentions holidays but the tips really apply to any busy time, it was just too awkward to fit that into every sentence!) It’s great to set an intention to write during the holiday season but in all the hustle and bustle it’s easy to forget to actually do it. If you have to rely on your motivation to change…

  • Charles Dickens,  Craft,  Discipline,  Revising and Editing,  Uncategorized

    Top 10 Signs You’ve Given TMI & Need to Cut The Dickens Out Of Your Backstory by Katharine Grubb 10 Minute Novelist

    You are not Charles Dickens. As much as you may want  to be Victorian, champion for the London’s most needy, and father 10 children, that doesn’t give you the right to overwrite your novels. That is, if you intention is to sell them in today’s market, you may want to reconsider how much backstory you have and how you may want to cut it. In today’s market, there are general guidelines for genres. Writer’s Digest has a nice article that breaks it down for your use. But these are general guidelines. Anyone who self-publishes can basically do whatever they want. And if you look hard enough, you’ll find exceptions to nearly ever…

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    NaNoWriMo-The Three Week Slump

    The week three slump! How to keep going when all you want to do is quit. So, you’ve got stuck and don’t know how to keep going to the end? Well, if you’ve come this far you better keep going. You can make it. Unless this is your first NaNoWriMo ever and you just decided to become a writer, you’ve heard that the first draft will be awful and that it’s normal. And it is, so don’t worry about how it looks or sounds at this moment. Channel your inner JK Rowling and write down all the things that you probably never will put in your book. Just keep writing……

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    Benefits of Writing With Constraints

    By Sherry Howard Don’t get it twisted. Writing with constraints isn’t the same as writing in restraints. All writers deal with constraints. Writing for a blog post? You have an optimal length, a certain expectation for civility—unless you’re Chuck Wendig. Making a submission to a magazine? You’ll likely have a theme to fit into, either for the issue or for the magazine itself. Working on that novel? We all know that the expectations for word length in novels is fluid, but hard to sell if the length is too far outside the parameters. What we don’t always realize is how much constraints can help us improve our writing. I cut…

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    365 Writing Club-Daily Writing Challenge

    365 Writing Club is a subgroup of 10 Minute Novelists that challenges writers to write DAILY and it will change your writing life.  Don’t believe me here are just a few of the comments from current members. “For years, I tried to build a daily writing habit. This group gave me the freedom to let go of perfection and just focus on putting my thoughts out there. My writing practice has real energy and momentum now. I can feel the difference in my skill. I’m like an athlete who has practiced her shots so often that she can depend on herself to deliver them accurately.” -Christine Hennebury “I can’t believe…

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    Procrastination Queen-Laying Down My Crown

    That’s me, Queen of Procrastination. Sadly I wear the crown proudly most of the time. I know all the tricks to not have time to write, yeah you read right, to NOT write. Sounds like a chore, right? For me it feels like a chore, and I don’t like to do chores. Every time I should do something I automatically no longer want to do it. Procrastination is my biggest obstacle when it comes to writing, I don’t prioritize it high enough. I even clean house before writing, and I hate doing chores, really hate it. The other day I cleaned my bathroom, something I’ve been putting f for a…

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    Social Media Etiquette-Manners Matter

    Today I am going to talk to you about something that you may, or may not, have already had to deal with—social media etiquette. As a writer who is either already in the public arena, or who wishes to be, social media etiquette is going to be extremely important. Why social media etiquette matters… I’m sure you’ve heard of branding in relationship to being an author, but this goes even further. Social media etiquette is important because how your fans, and the general public, see you is most likely going to equate to clicks and hopefully sales. If you’re like me, then it grates a little  to know that you…

  • Craft,  Observation,  Uncategorized

    Bring Them With You: Writing Vivid Descriptions

    by Christine Hennebury Readers come to fiction to immerse themselves in the world of the characters. If you want your readers to really connect with your writing, with your characters, you need to master vivid descriptions. When you put in the work to make your book’s world as real as possible, you reward both your readers and yourself. Creating a detailed world doesn’t mean that you need to overload your text with adjectives. Instead, it means that you need to be precise in your language and selective in the details you share. It means that you connect your readers with your characters through their senses. Vivid description lets you fully…

  • Inspiration,  Uncategorized

    Never Give Up (Or Why New Writers Feel A Little Nuts)

    It’s FALL here in beautiful New England! The trees are showing off their magnificent colors. October is magical. It’s breathtaking and awe-inspiring. It’s glorious and crisp. October is the best time of year. Unless you’re an acorn. I am not an acorn, but I would imagine that if I were, and if I were sentient and anthropomorphic, it would be very difficult for me not to feel sorry for myself in October. Where would acorns like me go? If not eaten by a squirrel, then I and my friends could be buried in a hole somewhere, forgotten under the brutal snow that New England’s prize for loving autumn too much. Poor…

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    Panning for Gold-Finding Your Best Ideas

    Ideas are a dime a dozen for us creative types. Often they come in the most inopportune moments or lead us on bunny trails mid-scene. And yet, when we go to decide what happens in the next scene, we often find our brains zone in on the obvious or worse go blank. Finding our best ideas for a scene is like panning for gold. We have to sift out the 90% that is just dirt and then analyze the last 10% to determine what is fool’s gold and what is real gold. Being time crunched writers, we need to learn to do this as efficiently as possible. So here are…